Rural communities in Taraba state, were on Friday on indefinite lockdown as the authorities tried to contain mounting violence between cattle herders and farmers.

Police spokesperson David Misal said a round-the-clock curfew has been imposed in affected areas "due to the escalation of violence between Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups".

Nigeria has been gripped since the start of the year with an increase in clashes between the largely nomadic herders and farmers over land, water and grazing rights.

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At least 10 people were killed in several days of violence in Taraba last week into the weekend, while some 24 lost their lives in the central state of Benue in the last few days.

Misal said there were reports that the violence was spreading but gave no further details.

"The government, after consultation with security agencies, finds it necessary to impose a curfew in order to allow security operatives to restore peace," he told AFP.

"From Wednesday, residents in (the affected areas) have been ordered to remain indoors day and night indefinitely until the security situation is reviewed."

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